by Bob Williamson
On the surface at least, the value of setting production goals is that you get to make more money when you reach those goals. But there's a lot more to it than that.
When you set a goal, and then accomplish it, you are developing and exercising personal power. Power can be defined as the capacity to produce a preconceived result, or to cause such a result to be produced. Another way to put it is that when you become a powerful person, your word becomes law in the universe.
This concept has implications that go far beyond your success in the mortgage business. Powerful people (i.e., people who have learned how to produce a result) have a greater capacity to make a difference -- from the microcosm of their businesses and their families to the macrocosm of their community, their nation, and ultimately, the world.
This is the game that interests me. If I can help you become more powerful with respect to your business, my real contribution to your life is that you can now apply that power anywhere. It's like the old story about the difference between giving a man a fish and teaching him to fish.
When you look at your numbers you sometimes find that there is a gap between the goal and your actual results. While this may not always be clear to you, I am not interested in getting you to feel bad about your failure to accomplish the goal; my purpose is to help you to discover what it will take to produce a meaningful change in your results.
Power is the capacity to produce (or cause to be produced) a pre-conceived result. Power resides in persons, not techniques.
Information, research, marketing statistics, marketing ideas & programs, and coaching are of no value unless you, as an undivided being, make a commitment to change.
We have all listened to an argument between two or more voices within our own minds -- a struggle between the change we say we want and the reasons we say we didn't, or can't. The struggle manifests itself as effort. And effort is the opposite of power.
If, for example, you say you want to make 100 prospect contacts per week, but you say you can't find the time to make your calls, you may believe you are in a struggle between your desire to make your calls and being distracted by other priorities. But in fact, you have already chosen not to make the calls (i.e., you have chosen to do something else instead of making the calls). The "struggle" that you describe only serves to hide this fact.
By focusing our attention on what appears to be a struggle to change -- the reasons and explanations and excuses that we generate instead of results -- we engage in a conspiracy to pretend that we are an accidental grouping of disharmonious parts working against each other. When you say, "I want to manage my staff so that we consistently reach our marketing goals every week, but I can't seem to get my assistant(s) to make all their calls," who is it that "wants to" and who is it that "can't"? (Hint: it's not your assistants who "can't." If you are clear about the job you want done, whose responsibility is it to make sure you've hired someone who has both the ability and the desire to do that job?)
So it is as if there were two of you, and the one who "can't" has more power than the one who "wants to." You pretend that the "real" you is the one that "wants to."
By focusing on the struggle, instead of on the results, we avoid having to admit that the one who wants change and the one who resists change are one and the same, that we are whole, and that we really do get what we want, which is struggle and effort, rather than results!
This is tough stuff to get. It's tough because years of mental habit have conditioned us to think that we really are in conflict with ourselves. To admit that the so-called struggle is phony -- and that we have invented this struggle so we can pretend that the "real" me is more ambitious and successful than my results would indicate -- is scary. It's scary because we don't want to admit that we already have the results we're willing to be responsible for.
The problem is that as long as I identify my "true self" only as that part of me that wants to change my results, and not also as a presently more powerful desire to remain the same, I will continue to be stuck in the phony struggle. The more I "try" to change, the more resistance I will experience, and the more I'll stay the same -- stuck. It is ironic, but true, that I will only be able to change by giving up trying to change.
In order for things to get better, they must first get worse. If you want to get out of debt, you must first acknowledge how it serves you to be in debt. In order to have a smoothly functioning and efficient staff, you must first be honest about the payoff you get from having a staff that screws up all the time.
No kidding: wherever you see a problem in your life, you must learn to make it your policy to assume that you get a real payoff from having that problem. If you can operate from that assumption that there is a payoff, and be committed to maintaining honest introspection until you know what the payoff is, you will eventually discover it.
For example, I talked with a client the other day who was recently honored for being the top producer in her office. Shortly after that happened, she began to find it increasingly difficult to motivate herself to continue doing the things that had gotten her to #1. No matter how hard she tried, no matter how much she berated herself for her lack of organization and motivation, she couldn't seem to return to the work habits that she had already proven to herself would make her successful. This was a real problem for her, and a source of great frustration, struggle and inner conflict. It wasn't long before she was back in the middle of the pack. So what was the payoff? In her case, she eventually realized that she had been uncomfortable with the attention that went along with being #1. She began to feel that her colleagues didn't like her as much as they did when she was just "one of the gang." Believe me, feeling accepted by your peers is a big payoff for a lot of people.
Now, here comes the good part: by being willing to operate from the assumption that she was getting a real payoff from her "problem", the payoff soon became clear to her. That was the first step; telling herself the truth about the payoff from her problem, recognizing that she was really a lot more powerful than she had been willing to give herself credit for being. It's a step most of us never take.
The second step is to accept yourself as you are. It's OK to be more concerned with being accepted than you are with being successful. Really! This is also a very difficult step for most of us. After all, the reason we set up the phony struggle in the first place is that we don't want to admit that we're so needy and vulnerable that we'd rather be liked than be first. But if you really are needy and vulnerable, it does no good whatsoever to try to cover it up with a phony struggle. When we finally accept ourselves the way we really are, we give up the struggle to get better. Then, finally, we are free to change.
That's step three, which can only be taken after mastering the first two steps. Within the context of being an integrated, whole person, we are free to state a new intention, one that we are willing to be fully responsible for making happen. That's when we truly become powerful people, not just in our businesses, but also in our lives.